Five Healthy Ways to Eat Deliciously This Winter

Maintaining a healthy diet alone is a challenging task. Some people choose to track calories or stick to highly specific IMG_6066[1]food groups, which works well for different lifestyles. However, after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome I decided why not eat healthy and deliciously? As a college student finding the time to go out and buy groceries, let alone making a home cooked meal, is proving to be a difficult mission to overcome. Luckily with a few tricks, and an apartment with a kitchen, I’m discovering new techniques to eat deliciously while adding a few healthy ingredients! The key to my diet is simplicity! Instead of looking for complicated recipes simply try adding different produce into your meals! Though with winter winds soon coming out to play, produce in stores are becoming limited. So here are six different fruits and vegetables available this winter season with health benefits capable for an everyday life.

Fruits of Winter

Cranberries

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This tart little fruit is a winter holiday favorite with many forms such as: cranberry juice, cranberry sauce and cranberry salad. However, let’s get back to simplicity! Cranberries begin harvest in October and extends till December. Fresh cranberries are usually packaged in an 8 oz. bag, so look for cranberries that are deep red in color and are firm to the touch. Pack a punch in your diet by adding cranberries to a salad, sauté with chicken for flavor or give chocolate cookies a healthy twist.

  • Health Benefits
    • Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
    • Protects the brain from age related memory or coordination loss
    • Heart health
    • Diet aid

Grapefruit

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Found at the peak of freshness during the Christmas season, Grapefruits are juicy, tart and tangy. When looking to put this brightly colored fruit in your shopping cart you want to check for firmness. Discoloration or scratches to the skin does not harm the fruit inside, however watch out for overly soft spots or heavily wrinkled skin. Also, storing grapefruits in the refrigerator will keep freshness for an extra week. Serve grapefruits with a little brown sugar and honey as a quick healthy snack.

  • Health Benefits
    • Source of Vitamin C
    • Reduces severity of inflammatory conditions, which adds support to the immune system
    • Cardiovascular health

Pomegranates

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Giving fruits a new appearance, pomegranates contain tiny ruby arils or seeds that burst with flavors both sweet and tart. Pomegranates are in season from October through February. When selecting a pomegranate look for a medium red to dark red color with a firm and heavy feel to the fruit. Be aware of any overly soft spots, but any scratches or skin abrasions are usually okay because the quality of the fruit inside won’t be affected. This fruit can easily add a splash of color and flavor to any meal, or even a quick snack!

  • Healthy Benefits
    • High in antioxidant, full of vitamin and potassium
    • Provides relief in stomach disorders
    • Protects against heart ailments
    • Lowers risk of dental plaque

Eat More Veggies

Kale

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Kale can vary with shape and taste, but is known as a dark green leaf. Easy to grow, Kale is ready to pick from July to December. However, a little trick to note is Kale has a sweeter taste after a frost so, if home grown, try waiting until October! Avoid brown or yellow leaves when purchasing kale. It should be bagged and placed in the refrigerator, which will keep freshness for up to five days. Just like lettuce, kale makes one fantastic salad!

  • Health Benefits
    • Packed with vitamins and minerals such as: Vitamins A,C and K
    • Omega-3: regulate blood clotting, protect against heart disease and stroke
    • Protects against some cancers
    • Beneficial to stomach, liver and immune system
  • Recipe to Impress

Sweet Potatoes

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In my house, sweet potatoes mixed with yams and peaches are a favorite holiday dish. They are in season between October through March and shouldn’t have marks or blemishes on the skin when purchasing from a store. Also sweet potatoes should be stored at room temperature. When stored in a refrigerated environment the taste tends to badly alter. With a sweeter taste these potatoes are a perfect alternative to other potatoes. For a healthy side prepare sweet potatoes by peeling, slicing then leave to boil.

  • Health Benefits
    • Antioxidant nutrients
    • Biotin, fiber, potassium and Vitamins A C and B6
    • Improve blood sugar regulation
  • Recipe to Impress

 

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis

 

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3 Ways to Overcome Stereotypes Effortlessly to Achieve Your Goals.

A stereotype is a widely known fixed judgment toward someoWIN_20151022_14_09_52_Pro (2)ne or something. Unfortunately, stereotypes also demean and harshly exaggerate a person or thing. For one reason or another the word yoga, carries more baggage than an airport. Those who practice yoga are women who wear size two in designer clothing, eat vegetarian or vegan food only, always live in a state of tranquility, and have the immediate ability to bend in ways that put a pretzel to shame. Yoga became an intimidating word with undeserved judgement. But the secret is out, so listen close!

Why stop at practicing yoga? Aim for your dreams!!

  1. Think Outside the Box

Stereotypes are preconceived judgements. It’s time to hit the refresh button and think outside the box! Leave what you know, what you experienced, your mindset and attitude in order to see things in a completely different perspective. You are unique, beautiful and able to conquer the world. If you are told you can’t do something, hit that refresh button, smile and say, “watch me!”

  1. Playing Pretend

They say, “Your actions today should help your future self,” so what do you want your future self to become? It’s time to play dress up and pretend you are your future self! Want to get in shape? Grab the water bottle out of the refrigerator instead of the pop can. Strive for the future you dream about. Create chaos, make mistakes and do what you need to do to live in your dreams today!

  1. Evaluate and Encourage

Stereotypes spread faster than wild fires, and soon distorts into something harmful. Before you let stereotypes grab you, educate yourself! Stereotypes are simply misconceptions, so destroy the misconception. I once turned my nose the other way at yoga before realizing its benefits. I became educated and practiced daily. Today, I encourage you to education yourself in order to overcome a stereotype.

I am who I am, Watch Me Soar!

The biggest crime occurs when you stop yourself from achieving greatness because of a stereotype. Not one of those stereotypes I listed early stopped me from practicing yoga. I am five foot eight and weigh 132 pounds. I am a size five or even size six in some stores. I buy crazy yoga pants and shirts off the discount rack at Target. My diet consists of pizza, spaghetti and other delicious foods because why not enjoy what you eat. Sometimes I get unbearably stressed and angry I wonder if I will turn into the Incredible Hulk. If I ever became a pretzel during my yoga session someone should immediately take me to the hospital. Starting yoga was the best decision I made, and to top it off I did it for myself. But, I won’t stop there. A couple days ago someone asked what I was afraid of to which I replied, “my dreams.” My dreams scare the ever living out of me because I want so badly for them to come true. Believe me, when I say nothing, not even a little stereotype, will stand in my way. This lifestyle builds me into who I am, and you have the ability to create the life style that builds you, regardless of the baggage that may tag along.

Simply Smile

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Dove is teaming up with Twitter to introduce a social change taking the beauty conversation from a negative one to a positive one as exemplied by the tweet above. Using love as an acronym, Dove defines a way of life, which people should delightly strive for. In full support of the project, I wish for every young girl and woman to stand in front of a mirror and feel beautiful. The mirror I look into every morning is lined with brightly colored sticky notes reminding me who I am. Some reading, “Laugh until your body aches,” “Don’t you dare give up,” and most importantly, “I am Beautiful.” These notes may seem ridiculous to some people, but when I look into that mirror I do not judge myself, I smile. Too many times has social media become a place for hateful posts over the appearance of ones self or of others. This kind of cruelty toward ourselves has to stop. The media has become a world exposing us to distorted beauty. A perfection so exaggerated that it is nearly impossible for any man or woman to accomplish. So the next time you come across those chizzled abs or that size zero waist line on a billboard or magazine cover remember that photo was tampered with, and could have taken four or five different models to complete. If you do find yourself comparing your body negatively try to think of at least three things you absolutely adore about yourself and simply smile.

Dove. “This is how we spell love.” 16 February 2015, 8:32 a.m. Tweet.

Reject the Media’s Influence

“Traditionally psychologists have attributed negative body image to pictures in the media of unusually thin or beautiful people with whom the rest of us compare our own physique. In June 2011 the American Medical Association released a statement that urged advertisers to stop the use of digitally altered photographs after researchers found links among exposure to mass media, negative body image and disordered eating.

The impact of distorted body image is widespread. Almost half of adolescent girls report being dissatisfied with their appearance, and the number of males reporting serious body image dissatisfaction is also on the rise (although the exact number of males with this problem is difficult to pin down). An additional one out of 20 Americans suffers from a clinical body image disturbance such as an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder, in which people cannot stop thinking about minor or imaginary “flaws” in their appearance.”

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Gone too Far

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“Ms Mee said: ‘One girl described to me how everyone in her class regularly measures their wrists and if their thumb or first or second finger does not fit neatly around the wrist, they are labelled too fat.”

“ ‘The boys have the so called “gap of shame.” This is when young boys are wearing a T-shirt for sports and if their bicep or forearm doesn’t fill the T-shirt, this is something to be ashamed of because they haven’t bulked up enough.’”

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